A tarp tent is a tarpaulin, a plastic or nylon sheet, used in place of a tent. It is usually rigged with poles, tent pegs, and guy lines. Ultralight backpackers use tarp tents because they are lightweight compared to other backpacking shelters.

In its simplest form it is floorless with open ends. It is commonly lighter and cheaper than a double-wall tent and easier to set up. However, because it is more open, it does not provide as much protection from rain, snow, wind[1], or cold as a tent does. It provides no protection from insects.

More sophisticated tarp tents are now manufactured[2] or homemade with such things as bug screening and storm flaps on the ends and even floors and vents. According to Harvey Manning in his book Backpacking One Step at a Time (The REI Press Seattle), "The term 'tarp-tent' as used here denotes a broad category which at one boundary is nothing more than a shaped tarp and at the other end verges on a 'true' tent. The common characteristic is a single wall, in most cases, waterproof."

In Mountaineering the Freedom of the Hills (4th ed. The Mountaineers, Seattle, WA) it says, "A tarp tent is both light in weight and low in cost, and offers adequate shelter from all but extreme weather in lowland forests and among subalpine trees."

Tarp tents are frequently made of silnylon material because it is light weight, strong, and waterproof.


  1. Rutter, Michael (2001). Camping Made Easy (2nd ed.). Guilford, CT: The Globe Pequot Press. pp. 45–46. ISBN 0-7627-0749-6. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  2. Kestenbaum, Ryel (2001). The Ultralight Backpacker. Camden, ME: Ragged Mountain Press. pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-0071368285. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
Imported from Wikipedia

This page is being imported from Wikipedia, to create a Wikidwelling stub or article. These steps need to be completed:

  1. Sections not relevant to Wikidwelling can be deleted, or trimmed to a brief comment. Note: Image redlinks should not be removed
  2. Redlinks to articles unlikely to be created on Wikidwelling can be unlinked. (leave links to locations and institutions.)
  3. Categories may need to be adapted or removed - e.g. "people born in the 1940s". Redlinked categories are not a problem.
  4. Templates not used on Wikidwelling should be deleted, like all the interwiki links ({{de:...}}, {{fr:...}},
  5. When these first tasks are basically done, you can remove this template, writing {{Attrib Wikipedia | article name}} in place of this {{Attrib Wikipedia raw | article name}} at the bottom (simply remove "raw").
    You can also:
  6. Move to a section "External links" all Wikimedia project-related templates (e.g. {{Commons}}, {{Commons category}}, {{Wiktionary}}, etc. ).
  7. Add more specific content (related to the Wikidwelling topic) to the article, insert videos from YouTube, etc.

Pages with this template.

The original article was at Tarp tent. The list of authors can be seen in the history for that page. The text of Wikipedia is available under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.